Bill Would Let Nonrelatives Care for Foster Children in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A committee has passed a bill that would allow state social workers to place children with adults who are not their blood relatives but have an “emotionally significant relationship” with the child.

The House Health and Family Services Committee unanimously approved the bill on Thursday. While Kentucky law allows non-relatives to care for children in crisis, only judges can make that call. Supporters say the bill would give social workers more options in an emergency.

The bill is part of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s effort to overhaul the state’s foster care and adoption system. It was a major focus of his State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday. Bevin and his wife, Glenna, tried to adopt out of Kentucky’s foster care system but were denied because they already had five children. They have since adopted four children from Ethiopia.